Sara Dosa’s exploration of connection between two mushroom foragers made its debut at San Francisco this Spring, where it won an award. It has also screened at Hot Docs, and Mountainfilm in Telluride.
Taking place in rural Oregon over the course of the two month season which sees hundreds of foragers – many Southeast Asian migrant workers – seeking the prized matsutake mushroom, Dosa’s film focuses on three singular figures: middle-aged Kuoy, a Cambodia immigrant who last part of his leg as a freedom fighter against the Khmer Rouge; 75-year-old Roger, a former US Special Forces sniper in Vietnam; and his strong, loving wife, Theresa. Together, the trio form an unexpected surrogate family – the men bonded not only in their common quest for the lucrative fungus, but in their shared experience of conflict and violence, which they reveal gradually over the course of this quiet, sensitively realized project. Dosa immerses the viewer in the rhythms of their sylvan world, entering her subjects’ inner lives as carefully as they root around searching for the matsutake.